Apparently not just because we’re in a never-ending crisis, either. Time reports on why Moonshine is the trendiest bottle on the shelf:
“They call it that old mountain dew, and thems that refuse it are few…” So goes the old song, and it gets truer every month. Yes, the distilled spirit known as moonshine, white lightning, white dog, or simply white whisky is the liquor of the moment, bringing together whiskey geeks, home distillers, and high-end mixologists, all of whom find in the formerly clandestine rotgut a new means of expression, both for their palates and their politics.
Why is moonshine making a comeback? For the same reason absinthe did a few years ago. Because it’s delicious. Because it’s illegal. And because it’s cool. Moonshine, both then and now, is whiskey as it comes out of the still: no oak barrels, no caramel color, no aging. It’s just straight liquor from fermented corn or wheat mash. None of the luxury-tinged language that surrounds its grown-up siblings, like bourbon or Scotch, apply to the dog. There are no 12 years of “mellowing,” no “complex vanilla notes.” If you get one flavor out of a white whiskey you’re doing well. Historically, you’re doing well if you don’t die or go blind after drinking it; the standards of moonshine manufacture, from George Washington’s time forward, have not been especially high.
The Washington reference, by the way, isn’t a random one: in his second term as President, a major rebellion based on untaxed moonshine tested the new nation’s mettle. Washington fought the bootleggers back into their hills and holes, where they have remained ever since…
[continues at Time]